East of the Altamont
This is a little diversion from my planned series, but I have dug up a few things that are worth a comment. Not unsurprisingly, they deal with water and politics.
Since I am always concerned about the balkanization of the internet, that blogs such as this are maintained as a coffee klatsch for people who already agree on almost everything, I make it a habit to go to other sites, like the very Republican, Pombo-supporting San Joaquin Blog. They have a current series of posts regarding Reclamation District 348 which is supposed to provide levee protection for the town of Thornton from the ravages of the Mokulemne River. Blog Member Philomath, posting under the title "Sunlight IS The Best Disinfectant" describes a situation in which the board for this 9,000 acres district is elected where each land owner can vote on the basis of one acre - one vote. Not unsurprisingly, the board consists of only the large land owners, who have voted to reduce assessments on their agricultural land and to increase assessments on residential land.
This is backed up with references to another blog, RD 348 Scandal. It makes interesting reading. There are potential abuses of several laws here, including the Brown Act. And the rest of the situation just stinks.
So, what is my point? Well, there are several.
- Politics in San Joaquin County is intimately connected to water and agriculture.
- Politics in San Joaquin County is full of backroom deals put together by big land owners and developers.
- All political parties have those who find this abuse of power to be deserving of specific action, especially when it can be shown to hurt the average person on the street, the home owner, the middle class of America.
- The best function of the blogosphere is to let in a little sunshine and then to organize the action of ALL those who find such abuse of power to be actionable. That is what PomboWatch and SNTP and CA-11 have been doing.
- We have to find a way to be inclusive of all those who have our goal, which is to "Say Not to Pombo" and all who would use their office for personal gain.